|Today marked our first trip back to Walt Disney World since the
COVID-19 closures earlier this year. It is a little harder to get in
to the parks now, as you must make reservations ahead of time, and
the Passholder slots tend to fill up pretty fast. Epcot was the only
park we were able to get into today.
Tara wasn't able to join us
today, as she was in Michigan visiting some of her closest friends.
That meant it was me, Drew, and Jayden being joined by Grandpa Gary,
Grandma Terry, Uncle Steve, and Aunt Erica.
We didn't make it to the park as close to opening as I would have
liked, but that was OK as we were able to pretty much cruise through
the security lines. Each of passed out COVID temperature checks,
with the exception of Jay. She was pulled aside and taken to a tent
(I went with her) to allow her to cool down. After failing a
forehead check, and checks behind both ears at the entrance, she
passed on her first check in the tent. With that little scare over,
we were off to tour the park.
The first thing we did once we made it inside was to get Steve a
wheelchair, and then get him registered for the Disability Access
Service (DAS), which came in very handy since there are no FastPass+
available at this time. Once that process was complete, we headed
over to The Land to get signed up for a ride on Soarin'. The
worst part of this was that there was a line just to get inside of
The Land building, due to limitations on the amount of people inside
due to the social distancing rules in effect. While each of us
understand their importance, they would really become a hassle
throughout the day, making it difficult to truly enjoy the park.
Once we finally did get inside of The Land and checked in for
Soarin', we had some time to pass before we could get on. We
opted for a spin on Living with the Land. As always, we
enjoyed the peacefulness of this ride. Although the beginning part
of the ride could use some updates, we always find something
interesting and new in the greenhouse part of the ride. Once we
completed our tour, it was off to Soarin' to fly around the
world. We love the sights, sounds, and smells of this ride.
We left The Land and headed off to Norway to get a DAS pass for
Frozen Ever After. We were starting to get hungry at this
point, so while we waited for our time slot on Frozen we
decided to eat our lunches. Thankfully the Akershus Royal Banquet
Hall, which is currently closed for ordering food, was opened as a
cooling station. We found a table inside and settled in for lunch.
Drew wanted to try a bratwurst from Germany, so the two of us walked
over to see what we could find. There wasn't a bratwurst on the menu
at the normal German restaurants, but we managed to get one at one
of the festival booths. We rejoined the rest of the family to eat.
Drew wasn't overly impressed with his brat - I think he'll stick to
grilling his own at home! After eating we took our turn on Frozen
Ever After. We enjoy this ride, but the wait times are usually
too long for us to consider sticking it out for.
We next headed over to Test Track to see if we could get
on with Dad's GM retiree ID. We weren't sure that they would still
be doing this with all of the other COVID changes in the park, but
were pleasantly surprised to see that they still were doing this for
GM employees and retirees. They took us in through the ride exit,
and we got right on. After speeding around the track we browsed the
"showroom" on our way out. Grandpa Gary and Drew was most impressed
by the new C8 Corvette that was on display.
At this point the heat was starting to wear us out, so we decided
to call it a day. We considered going on Mission: SPACE, but
not enough of us really enjoy this ride to make the wait worthwhile,
so we opted to skip it. Our final stop before exiting the park was
at Mouse Gear to check out some of the merchandise that was for
We headed out after shopping at Mouse Gear to make our way home.
We made a stop at a Walmart in Orlando that has a large selection of
Disney merchandise as well, and there was some cool shirts here.
Unfortunately not many of them were in a size I could wear, so that
was a disappointment. We also stopped at the Red Robin in Champions
Gate for dinner. After that, it was straight home!